Constipation - 5 steps to keep things moving
Small changes can add up when it comes to constipation. Many people get relief from simple adjustments to their diet and daily routines. If you’re having difficulty with constipation, here are some steps that can help soften your stools and keep your bowels moving.
- Eat more fiber. Adding fiber to your diet increases the weight of your stool and speeds its passage through your intestines. Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables each day. Choose whole-grain breads and cereals. Add legumes to soups, salads and casseroles. It’s best to make these changes to your diet gradually over a few weeks.
- Drink plenty of water. Aim for 64 ounces of liquid each day, such as water, tea or clear soups. If you’re increasing how much fiber you eat, consuming more liquid can help the fiber work better.
- Exercise daily. Regular physical activity reduces the time it takes food to move through the large intestine. The longer stool remains in the large intestine, the more water that’s absorbed and the drier stool becomes.
- Try bowel training. To help your body become more regular, try to have a bowel movement at the same time each day. Because eating activates your large intestine, try to move your bowels 15 to 30 minutes after breakfast or another meal. Even if you don’t feel like you have to go, sit on the toilet. If you’re not successful after few minutes, try again a bit later. With practice, your body may become trained to defecate on a predictable schedule.
- Respond to the urge. If you’re body’s telling you it’s time to have a bowel movement, listen to it. Don’t ignore the urge to go.
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All great advise.
I took laxatives for three years during and after cancer treatment which stopped my bowel urge. Finally seem to have things on the right path using the points listed above.
It was not without a bit of pain but so worth it. I started with, water, exercise and more fibre, then incorporated training.
Thanks for sharing the tips.
Good advice however I had bowel blockage and have very limited diet – very low fiber, no fresh vegetables or fruit. Mirelax has helped, but I’m concerned about taking it everyday.
Every night I take one stool softener ( 250) mg and eat one prune plus a probiotic pill keeps me going
An additional step to keep things moving is thiamine. Thiamine requires magnesium to become bioactive yet is subject to degradation from raw fish, coffee, tea, high levels of sugar and carbohydrates.
I have a small bowl almonds, walnuts, and sour cherries every night before I go to bed. I have a movement 20 minutes after being up, and always soft.
I didnt do this one night and ended up constipated and with hemmeroids.
Was eating walnuts, pistachios and other nuts. Determined this was a no-no for me because it made my stools really hard.
For me, soups are a big help… split pea, lentils, bean, and similar soups or bisques. Also fruit… apples, melons, peaches, prunes and the like.
And, of course, veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, sauerkraut, spinach, corn, brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, etc.
I have had many blockages over the years as well. Only two last year which is a win for me.
I had the same concerns as you about taking medication regularly. It took me quite some time to wean off them.
Do you think you could start incorporating one of the suggested changes to help you get weaned off the medications?
I forgot to mention that I keep a log of everything i eat and drink as well. This way, when I get a blockage or feel constipated, I can review my notes and perhaps identify what may have caused the issue.
It also forces me to drink and eat properly.
Excellent idea, Bob!
Never been a problem in my nearly 65 years. I take psyllium fiber to stop me from going too often. It provides a little bulk that I need. I remember in recovery after my heart transplant telling my morning med nurse to get that little red pill out of here (colace, I believe). I cannot, literally cannot, imagine the discomfort from not going. My new heart goes out to you who struggle with this issue.